The future father of my children is…a ‘retired’ laser quest champion.

13 02 2013

Laser Quest pack

In order to have a happy family life it is important that the parents as well as the kids have a good balance of work and hobbies and time spent not only together but also alone. We all need our personal space from time to time and this brings me to consider how the prospective FFOMC chooses to spend his leisure time and whether his extracurricular activities are compatible with a harmonious family life.

Last Sunday the candidate for FFOMC revisited an old hobby by participating in a game of Laser Quest (LQ) with his old team mates. He used to attend member night at LQ every Sunday when we were first dating. It was his chance to blow off steam at the end of the week, it kept him fit and he seemed to really enjoy it. Although I couldn’t understand the attraction, I didn’t begrudge him his weekly boy’s night.

In an effort to support his hobby and spend some time with him I actually played a little in my early 20’s (FYI: member’s night is a little daunting for the uninitiated!) I was never a strong player but I gave it my best in the two-man, four-man, battle royals, cardiac arrests, manic 45 and range of member’s activities and tournaments.  We both ended up working for LQ and although it wasn’t glamorous it was enjoyable.

Then the foreign trips started. I had no idea that this children’s birthday game could be so competitive with the 20 something’s who still played it after turning 14. My husband played in France & Holland as well as numerous UK sites and we both participated in the 2003 European Championships when Swindon played host to the tournament. His team ‘Guildford Badgers’ ended the tournament as the 2nd best team in Europe and have subsequently won the ELC plate more times than any other team. The top player of winning team ‘Tribe’ (Trix) is an amazing talent and has also played competitively in the USA and Canada.

The logo for my husbands team: "The Badgers"

The logo for my husbands team: “The Badgers”

As the players got older they started to settle down with partners and have families and it came to a fairly natural end – or so the WAGs thought. But even now every time there is a major tournament the old teams are reunited and players come out of retirement to compete.

Last Sunday was the most recent reunion for the Woking two man tournament. The hubby joined forces with his old sidekick and they resolved to do battle. The hunched shoulders, downs cast expression and monosyllabic responses to any questions about the event suggest to me that it did not go well for them.

This got me thinking: at what stage of life are you officially too old to play LQ competitively?

12 years old: LQ is the ultimate boy’s birthday party.

16 years old: Joining the competitive players on member’s night and hanging out with the 18-20 year olds probably makes you feel pretty cool.

18 years old: Having earned your place amongst the established players you may have the opportunity to play in Europe or even further afield – it’s a boy’s holiday i.e. time with ‘the lads’ seeing more of the world, drinking and a bit of LQ thrown in for good measure.

Early 20’s: LQ is an acceptable hobby, but only if you don’t have a girlfriend yet.

Late 20’s: You start to show signs of a Peter Pan Complex.

Early 30’s: Surely this is the point when you need to hang up your pack for good?

Will my husband still be playing in his 40’s? 50’s?

No adult in his 30’s should still go by the name Thor, Viper, Fizz or Mort. To this day I still do not know the real first names of some of the players. This includes some who came to my wedding! Making an invite out to my groomsman ‘Headrush’  felt wrong, (although my Dad’s insistence on calling him ‘Hedgehog’ for the entire fortnight he spent with us in Norn Iron before the wedding was somewhat amusing).

On the other hand we would have our kid’s birthday parties sorted until they turned about 13.

But would my husband’s competitive streak come out? Would ‘Top Dad’ annihilate all the birthday guests causing children, known for the day only as ‘Ure Mum’, sob for the duration of the car journey home about their crushing defeat, causing me extreme embarrassment and isolation at the school gates?

Then again maybe I could make amends to any disgruntled mothers by hosting Saturday coffee mornings while I send father and son out for a few hours of LQ bonding time in the Cardiac Arrest. 90 minutes of them running round while I enjoy a leisurely Espresso and biscotti would keep them fit and give me peace for a few hours.

What if my children want to follow in ‘Daddy’s’ footsteps and want to go on the foreign trips? How much would that cost me? They may start to insist that I abandon the legal name I have assigned them in favour of ‘Slyph’, ‘Odin’ or ‘Sniper’.

And…Dear God what would happen the first time father and son looked up at the scoreboard and my husband realised that the apple of his eye had beaten his high score? Would he be magnanimous in defeat? Would his ‘golden boy’ rub it in his face? Would it be the start of the dissolution of the family unit?

Thinking about it I have never actually heard ANY woman, when describing her perfect partner say, “I don’t really have a type but…it would be SOOOOO HOT if he was the Woking Iron Man champion of 2013.”

It would appear that my husband’s skill in this particular area cannot be categorised as a desirable attribute that demonstrates his suitability as FFOMC but if he is serious about the role, at least has a few more months to get it out of his system.

Jay's LQ Trophies

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